May/June 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 7

2014 Excellence in Environmental Education Awards Presented to Non-Formal Science Educators and Science Fair Students

Posted: Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

by Ray Ng

The California Environmental Education Foundation (CEEF) presented the 2014 Excellence in Environmental Education awards to two non-formal science educators at the California STEM Symposium on September 22 in San Diego.

CEEF Board member Rita Bell (director of Education Programs at the Monterey Bay Aquarium) is shown with Brian Brown (State Coordinator of the California Project WET program at the Water Education Foundation), recipients of a CEEF 2014 Excellence in Non-Formal Environmental Education award of a plaque (shown in insert) and $400.

CEEF Board member Rita Bell (director of Education Programs at the Monterey Bay Aquarium) is shown with Brian Brown (State Coordinator of the California Project WET program at the Water Education Foundation), recipients of a CEEF 2014 Excellence in Non-Formal Environmental Education award of a plaque (shown in insert) and $400.

CEEF Board Members Rita Bell, the director of Education Programs at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and Dave Massey, Program Director of Exploring STEM Careers Initiative, presented the 2014 awards to Brian Brown, State Coordinator of the California Project WET program at the Water Education Foundation, and Biret Adden, Environmental Education Manager for the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose and Director of the BioSITE Program.

Brian and Biret were recognized as two non-formal science educators who have demonstrated excellence in environmental education. Each recipient received a $400 check and a plaque recognizing their accomplishments from CEEF.

Among other achievements, Brian has conducted 127 full Project WET workshops and an additional 50 workshops at the Forestry Institute for Teachers, which has resulted in professional development for 2,268 educators. Biret, as the Director of the BioSITE Program, manages curriculum development and training of high school students in field study and Environmental Education content so they can facilitate weekly field explorations with small teams of 4th-5th graders in watershed study sites.  This program reaches more than 1,000 students per year.

CEEF Board members Darryl Ramos-Young (left) and Ray Ng (right) present the CEEF Excellence in Environmental Education junior division award to Ananya Kathhik at the 2014 California State Science Fair.  Photo courtesy of the California State Science Fair.

CEEF Board members Darryl Ramos-Young (left) and Ray Ng (right) present the CEEF Excellence in Environmental Education junior division award to Ananya Kathhik at the 2014 California State Science Fair. Photo courtesy of the California State Science Fair.

Earlier this year, CEEF had also presented two Excellence in Environmental Education awards at the California State Science Fair on April 29 in Los Angeles.

CEEF Board Members Ray Ng and Darryl Ramos-Young presented the Junior Division Award to Ananya Kathhik, a seventh grade student at Challenger School in Sunnyvale for her project, “A Greener Cleaner: Investigating a Potential Biosorbent for the Removal of Heavy Metals from Aqueous Solutions.”

Stacey S. Sojiri and Kelly Y.Woo, 12th grade students at Palos Verdes Peninsula High School in Rolling Hills Estates, received the Senior Division Award for their project, “The Potential Impact of Hyperion Treatment Plant’s Effluent on the Coastal Environment: Science Influencing Management.” The judges were impressed by the sophisticated environmental applications of complex scientific content, study, research and findings for both winning projects.

CEEF Board members Darryl Ramos-Young (far left) and Ray Ng (far right) present the CEEF Excellence in Environmental Education senior division award to Stacey S. Dojiri and Kelly Y. Woo at the 2014 California State Science Fair.  Photos courtesy of the California State Science Fair.

CEEF Board members Darryl Ramos-Young (far left) and Ray Ng (far right) present the CEEF Excellence in Environmental Education senior division award to Stacey S. Dojiri and Kelly Y. Woo at the 2014 California State Science Fair. Photos courtesy of the California State Science Fair.

One student each in the Junior Division and Senior Division were honored for science projects judged to be the best entries that exemplified the integration of environmental education with California science content. The winning students received a $500 check and certificate of excellence from CEEF.

The California Environmental Education Foundation (CEEF) is a statewide non-profit foundation established at the recommendation of the State Superintendent’s Environmental Education Task Force Steering Committee in 2003. It is a successor organization to the California Energy Education Forum. CEEF envisions the day when high caliber environmental education is fully integrated into the daily experience of all California students. CEEF’s mission is to promote environmental literacy and stewardship by identifying and coordinating efforts that support the highest standards of practice and increasing the flow of focused resources to those efforts.

Ray Ng is a Board Member for the California Environmental Education Foundation and was invited to submit to CCS by CSTA member Valerie Joyner

Written by Guest Contributor

From time to time CSTA receives contributions from guest contributors. The opinions and views expressed by these contributors are not necessarily those of CSTA. By publishing these articles CSTA does not make any endorsements or statements of support of the author or their contribution, either explicit or implicit. All links to outside sources are subject to CSTA’s Disclaimer Policy: http://www.classroomscience.org/disclaimer.

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CSTA Annual Conference Early Bird Rates End July 14

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

Teachers engaged in workshop activity

Teachers engaging in hands-on learning during a workshop at the 2016 CSTA conference.

Don’t miss your chance to register at the early bird rate for the 2017 CSTA Conference – the early-bird rate closes July 14. Need ideas on how to secure funding for your participation? Visit our website for suggestions, a budget planning tool, and downloadable justification letter to share with your admin. Want to take advantage of the early rate – but know your district will pay eventually? Register online today and CSTA will reimburse you when we receive payment from your district/employer. (For more information on how that works contact Zi Stair in the office for details – 916-979-7004 or zi@cascience.org.)

New Information Now Available On-line:

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

Goodbye Outgoing and Welcome Incoming CSTA Board Members

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

Jill Grace

Jill Grace, CSTA President, 2017-2019

On July 1, 2017 five CSTA members concluded their service and four new board members joined the ranks of the CSTA Board of Directors. CSTA is so grateful for all the volunteer board of directors who contribute hours upon hours of time and energy to advance the work of the association. At the June 3 board meeting, CSTA was able to say goodbye to the outgoing board members and welcome the incoming members.

This new year also brings with it a new president for CSTA. As of July 1, 2017 Jill Grace is the president of the California Science Teachers Association. Jill is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach, a former middle school science teacher, and is currently a Regional Director with the K-12 Alliance @ WestEd where she works with California NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative districts and charter networks in the San Diego area.

Outgoing Board Members

  • Laura Henriques (President-Elect: 2011 – 2013, President: 2013 – 2015, Past President: 2015 – 2017)
  • Valerie Joyner (Region 1 Director: 2009 – 2013, Primary Director: 2013 – 2017)
  • Mary Whaley (Informal Science Education Director: 2013 – 2017)
  • Sue Campbell (Middle School/Jr. High Director: 2015 – 2017)
  • Marcus Tessier (2-Year College Director: 2015 – 2017)

Learn More…

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

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Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

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Written by NGSS Early Implementer

NGSS Early Implementer

In 2015 CSTA began to publish a series of articles written by teachers participating in the California NGSS k-8 Early Implementation Initiative. This article was written by an educator(s) participating in the initiative. CSTA thanks them for their contributions and for sharing their experience with the science teaching community.

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Unveils Updated Recommended Literature List

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson unveiled an addition of 285 award-winning titles to the Recommended Literature: Prekindergarten Through Grade Twelve list.

“The books our students read help broaden their perspectives, enhance their knowledge, and fire their imaginations,” Torlakson said. “The addition of these award-winning titles represents the state’s continued commitment to the interests and engagement of California’s young readers.”

The Recommended Literature: Prekindergarten Through Grade Twelve list is a collection of more than 8,000 titles of recommended reading for children and adolescents. Reflecting contemporary and classic titles, including California authors, this online list provides an exciting range of literature that students should be reading at school and for pleasure. Works include fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama to provide for a variety of tastes, interests, and abilities. Learn More…

Written by Guest Contributor

From time to time CSTA receives contributions from guest contributors. The opinions and views expressed by these contributors are not necessarily those of CSTA. By publishing these articles CSTA does not make any endorsements or statements of support of the author or their contribution, either explicit or implicit. All links to outside sources are subject to CSTA’s Disclaimer Policy: http://www.classroomscience.org/disclaimer.

Teaching Science in the Time of Alternative Facts – Why NGSS Can Help (somewhat)

Posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

by Peter A’Hearn

The father of one of my students gave me a book: In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood by Walt Brown, Ph. D. He had heard that I was teaching Plate Tectonics and wanted me to consider another perspective. The book offered the idea that the evidence for plate tectonics could be better understood if we considered the idea that beneath the continent of Pangaea was a huge underground layer of water that suddenly burst forth from a rift between the now continents of Africa and South America. The waters shot up and the continents hydroplaned apart on the water layer to their current positions. The force of the movement pushed up great mountain ranges which are still settling to this day, resulting in earthquakes along the margins of continents. This had happened about 6,000 years ago and created a great worldwide flood. Learn More…

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Written by Peter AHearn

Peter AHearn

Peter A’Hearn is the Region 4 Director for CSTA.